Case Study:

Leaving a Legacy

The Client: Since 1931, Airstream has been an American icon. The riveted, aluminum trailers have been handed down for generations and continue to be produced today in Jackson Center, Ohio. Representing the finest in travel trailers and touring coaches, Airstream is a trusted leader in the recreational vehicle industry.

"Very rarely do you get an opportunity to work for a company that’s 91 years old and has so much history and a story that’s still relevant today.”

Mollie Hansen | Chief Marketing Officer | Airstream

The Need

Airstream first partnered with Exhibit Concepts back in 2004 for its trade show needs. It wasn’t until 2017 that the idea of the Heritage Center began.

It all started with the hope of giving a home to several older, historic trailers in Airstream’s possession. At the time, they were sitting outside, exposed to the elements, but the concept grew into a storytelling endeavor.

Airstream sought to highlight the unique stories of Americana that each of the trailers told. Some of the items came from the personal collection of the company’s founder, Wally Byam, while others were generously donated by the brand’s loyal fan base.

The Heritage Center, which was part of the company’s new production facility, would play home to history.

Included in the Heritage Center space, Airstream also wanted a retail shop and reception lobby to help greet guests arriving at the self-proclaimed “The Mothership.”

“There is a great sense of privilege and responsibility knowing that in your time here you are a steward of such an incredible legacy."

Samantha Martin | Heritage Center Curator | Airstream

The Solution

Drawing on its more than decade-old relationship with Airstream, Exhibit Concepts took the Heritage Center project to heart, diving into the brand’s strong following and history.

Just like Airstream’s iconic trailer, the space was designed by Exhibit Concepts with experience at top of mind. From the lobby to the entrance to the first trailers visitors see, every aspect of the Heritage Center was thoughtfully planned.

Starting with a theater experience, set alongside a 1937 relic known as “Old Grand Dad,” attendees progress into the Heritage Center where they are greeted with more than a dozen historic trailers and the story of their incredible journeys.

In the words of Airstream founder Wally Byam, “Don’t live in the past or future, make history.” With that in mind, there’s no truer way to describe the immersive experience on display at “The Mothership.” Exhibit Concepts’ goal from day one was to provide a space for Airstream to continue to make, and present, history. 

The Takeaway

Exhibit Concepts is more than an exhibit house. When tasked with the Heritage Center project, Exhibit Concepts became a brand partner with Airstream. By fully embracing Airstream’s culture, mission, and values, Exhibit Concepts was able to provide an attendee experience that resonated with the company’s loyal followers while also carrying on the company’s rich legacy.

Airstream’s Heritage Center is a testament to Exhibit Concepts dedicated, comprehensive approach to understanding and maximizing client’s experiential environments.

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